Furniture Breakup: Dumping Your Dresser!
If you're thinking about adopting minimalism as a lifestyle, one piece of furniture to consider eliminating is your dresser.
For years, my dresser was stuffed with sweaters, t-shirts, pajamas, jewelry, socks, and underwear. I had no idea what was in the bottom of each drawer. I just kept shoving more clothes in.
And the top of the dresser was littered with little boxes with more jewelry, knick-knacks, picture frames, stuffed animals, and other momentos that had very little significance to me, especially when I had to keep dusting them!
My dresser was a clutter magnet! And not one that I got rid of overnight.
Dealing with the emotional attachment to momentos...
Most of the knick-knack clutter I kept out of feelings of guilt. Someone had given me that rabbit statue or trinket box. How could I just donate it?
So really, my first step in dumping my dresser occurred in Tucson about three years ago. I was tired of cleaning the knick-knacks, so I boxed up every momento. I had two filing cabinet boxes full of miscellaneous trinkets that I didn't particularly like, but could not get rid of yet. Stupid emotional guilt! I put those two boxes into the top of the closet. They stayed there for two years.
When I moved to Denver, I trucked those two filing cabinet boxes with me and placed them in the top of that closet. After three years of not opening those boxes (not once), I decided that keeping those trinkets was a waste of space and emotional energy. I donated them. Every knick-knack!
After donating that stuff, I felt relieved. The burden of crap had been lifted. And that emotional burden, that attachment to things really was the toughest part of truly adopting minimalism. It was a shift in my mental model. Rather than placing importance on a rabbit statue, I had to decide that I should remember the person who gave it to me instead.
Next up, I donated the dresser...
I was moving from a one-bedroom apartment in Denver where it was just me to a studio apartment in San Francisco that I would share with My Person. We didn't have the wall space for a chest of drawers. Getting rid of the dresser was necessary!
We share the main closet off the bedroom section and one coat closet. My dresser replacement solutions had to fit into these two areas.
Collapsible fabric cubes or underbed storage boxes are your friends...
I use one collapsible fabric cube to store my sweaters. For me to purchase a new sweater, I have to donate an old one.
Another of these cubes holds off-season clothing and a few extra purses. A third cube holds gifts that I purchase for my nieces and nephews throughout the year.
If you don't want to use closet space for bins, then underbid storage boxes are another solution.
A hanging jewelry organizer makes finding accessories a breeze...
I searched around and found a great organizer on sale at TJ Maxx. However, these hanging jewelry organizers are everywhere in a variety of styles.
I love my choice because the front side has multiple clear pockets that make it easy for me to see earrings and bracelets. Since many of the pockets are zippered, I know that tiny pieces won't get lost.
The back side has loops for necklaces and open pockets. Some of the open pockets are even large enough for me to store my jewelry cleaning cloths. All of my costume jewelry fits easily within this paradigm.
Lastly, I bought two hanging shelf organizers...
Here's where serious selecting, editing, and donating of clothing came into play. Plus a visit to my favorite organizational changer-la, The Container Store.
On the six-shelf organizer, I assigned two shelves to underwear.
One shelf is for t-shirts. This is the shelf that is hardest for me to maintain. There are too many geeky t-shirts that I love. Plus I have some plain t-shirts too. But I follow the same rule here as my sweater cube. This one shelf is the shelf where I keep my t-shirts. Once it's full, for me to buy any new tees, I have to donate older ones.
I have two shelves designated for work-out wear. Tops on one shelf and shorts and capris on another.
The last shelf is for my pajamas.
With the 10-shelf shoe holder, I only use four of the bottom shelves for actual flip-flops and ballet flats. The rest of this unit is used for maintaining order for items that were once in my dresser.
Three of the other shelves hold various tank tops.
One shelf holds seasonal wear. In warmer weather, I keep my three swimsuits here and in colder weather, I have gloves and hats.
Two shelves store socks.
And with just a few items, many of which I had already, I reallocated how I store my clothing. I can't imagine ever having a dresser again. And I love having one less piece of furniture to move around and dust!
I wish I had used this system when I first moved out of my parent's house years ago. One of the first pieces of furniture I bought was a dresser. Not exactly an easy piece of furniture to move around on your own.
With this hanging system, I'm able to see all of my clothing easily. No digging around! Plus the pieces are light and portable. This system is easy to move.